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There is strong evidence that foods containing dietary fibre protect against colorectal cancer, resulting at least in part from its anti-proliferative properties. This study aimed to investigate the effects of supplementation with two non-digestible carbohydrates, resistant starch (RS) and polydextrose (PD), on crypt cell proliferative state (CCPS) in the macroscopically normal rectal mucosa of healthy individuals. We also investigated relationships between expression of regulators of apoptosis and of the cell cycle on markers of CCPS. Seventy-five healthy participants were supplemented with RS and/or PD or placebo for 50 d in a 2 × 2 factorial design in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (the Dietary Intervention, Stem cells and Colorectal Cancer (DISC) Study). CCPS was assessed, and the expression of regulators of the cell cycle and of apoptosis was measured by quantitative PCR in rectal mucosal biopsies. SCFA concentrations were quantified in faecal samples collected pre- and post-intervention. Supplementation with RS increased the total number of mitotic cells within the crypt by 60 % (P = 0·001) compared with placebo. This effect was limited to older participants (aged ≥50 years). No other differences were observed for the treatments with PD or RS as compared with their respective controls. PD did not influence any of the measured variables. RS, however, increased cell proliferation in the crypts of the macroscopically-normal rectum of older adults. Our findings suggest that the effects of RS on CCPS are not only dose, type of RS and health status-specific but are also influenced by age.
The Earth is a powerful organic chemist, transforming vast quantities of carbon through complex processes, leading to diverse suites of products that include the fossil fuels upon which modern societies depend. When exploring how the Earth operates as an organic chemist, it is tempting to turn to how organic reactions are traditionally studied in chemistry labs. While highly informative, especially in terms of insights gained into reaction mechanisms, this approach can also be a source of frustration, as many of the reactants and conditions employed in chemistry labs have few or no parallels to geologic processes. The primary goal of this chapter is to provide examples of predicting thermodynamic influences and using the predictions to design experiments that reveal the mechanisms of how reactions occur at the elevated temperatures and pressures encountered in the Earth. This work is ongoing, and we hope this chapter will inspire numerous and diverse experimental and theoretical advances in hydrothermal organic geochemistry.
Adolescence is a high-risk period for the onset of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Identification of preceding patterns of internalizing and externalizing symptoms that are associated with subsequent suicidal thoughts may offer a better understanding of how to prevent adolescent suicide.
Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, a prospective population-based Canadian cohort, contained Child Behavior Checklist items which were used to examine profiles and transitions of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children, aged 6–11 years (n = 8266). The association between these profiles/transitions and suicidal thoughts in adolescents was examined using multivariate logistic regression modeling.
Latent profile analyses identified four measurement invariant profiles of internalizing and externalizing symptoms at ages 6/7 and 10/11: (1) low on all symptoms, (2) moderate on all symptoms, (3) high on all symptoms, and (4) high on hyperactivity/inattention and internalizing. Recurrent (homotypic or heterotypic) and increasing symptoms from 6/7 to 10/11 were associated with suicidal thoughts in adolescence, compared to those with stable low symptoms. Those with decreasing symptoms from 6/7 to 10/11 were not at increased risk of suicidal thought in adolescence.
While patterns of recurrent symptoms were associated with suicidal thoughts, a similar association was observed between profiles at age 10/11 years and suicidal thoughts. This suggests that the recent assessments of mental health symptoms in children may be as sufficient a predictor of adolescent suicidal thought as transition profiles.
Chaucer’s God considers how characters invoke God, both in terms of the everyday language of late medieval England and in the ways that the idea of God is reflected in Chaucer’s fiction. Conventional, non-theological utterances of the names for God by Chaucer’s characters as part of their, by turns, outwardly pious and unthinkingly impious phraseologies are discussed in the opening section, God Woot – ‘God knows’. Under the heading God Forwoot – ‘God foreknows’, some of the more challenging invocations of God are considered, such as the implications of divine foreknowledge and predestination on human free will in the Knight’s Tale, the Nun’s Priest’s Tale and Troilus and Criseyde. The concluding section, God in a Cruel World, asks whether in the Clerk’s Tale and the Franklin’s Tale, if Chaucer allowed his tales to reflect, and characters to reflect upon, the heretical notion of a God lacking in compassion for humanity.
Chaucer lived in a society that was aware of childhood and adolescence as distinctive stages of human life and which inherited practices whereby young people were brought up and trained for adulthood. Informally, at home, children were introduced to social norms, religion and work. Those from wealthier families underwent more formal education, mastering literacy at home, in schools or in great households, where they learnt reading, rules of courtesy, French and, in the case of some boys, Latin. Chaucer’s works refer in passing to most of these processes, with particular attention to adolescents, including university scholars. During the fifteenth century his works in general came to be seen as having educational value. The Astrolabe, first written for his son Lewis, seems to have been used for teaching reading to other young children while his major writings were recommended as suitable literature for older ones.
This is not a collection of essays on Chaucer in the normal sense. Neither is it a ‘Companion’ or ‘Guide’ or ‘Handbook’ to Chaucer. It does not have the primary intention of providing readings of the texts of Chaucer (even though it contains much illuminating treatment of his works). It endeavours to be more lastingly helpful than that. Its key aim is to enhance the independence and critical capacities of modern readers of Chaucer by giving them a rich repertoire of contexts – historical and conceptual information and perspectives – through which to read, interpret and enjoy the primary text themselves with greater confidence and assurance.
Medieval literary theory, generated in the educational system and commentary tradition, consisted of systems and conceptual tools for interpreting and communicating the teachings of canonical works. It also offered a range of roles for a writer to adopt or cite for reworking authors (auctores) and authority (auctoritas), as well as materials of lesser prestige. A fascinating hierarchy of literary roles, as variously practised by writers, was delineated by St Bonaventure. This ascended from the humble scribe (a mere copyist), via the compiler (a re-arranger adding nothing of his own) and then the commentator (who ostensibly only explicates the words of the others), to the author, an autonomous asserter who only resorts to the words of others to confirm his own self-styled materials. These roles had considerable implications for Chaucer. This chapter also looks at the terminology for interpreting texts deriving from the academic prologue (accessus) and at different schemes for the understanding of levels of meaning within texts. It closes with a brief mention of the relationship between prescriptive poetics and interpretation in medieval rhetorical tradition.
However well-regarded Chaucer’s works were during his lifetime, it was his immediate successors who fashioned him into the ‘father of English poetry’ they then bequeathed to the subsequent English literary tradition. In particular, the poets Thomas Hoccleve and John Lydgate not only represented Chaucer in this manner in their own, widely disseminated works, they were also instrumental in the broad dissemination of Chaucer’s works. Importantly, these activities were motivated not just by admiration but also by a politico-literary context in which Hoccleve and Lydgate, unlike Chaucer, were asked to produce works that spoke both for a prince and to a prince. Their invention of Chaucer’s literary authority cannot then be separated from their intervention into politics, and this conflation they also bequeathed to the English literary tradition, where it remained plainly visible in the works of their own successors, and where it persists, more obscurely, to the present.
Readers of Chaucer’s poetry hear in it a distinctive and individual voice. More than any other medieval English poet, Chaucer seems to invite the question ‘what was he like?’. The many official records about him have no occasion to shed light on this question. Though Thomas Hoccleve arranged that a lifelike portrait of his dear master should appear in copies of his Regiment, this does not carry us too far into knowing what the poet was really like. Chaucer, for example, despite apparently always saying the best, seemed to have reserved his true opinions, leaving both contemporaries and readers alike to wonder what he really thought – be it about fellow-writers like Hoccleve and Lydgate, or Criseyde, or about his fictional Merchant. Moreover, not only does he persistently credit others with the best that can be said of them, he also discredits himself. It is perhaps appropriate, then, that the ironic Chaucer should represent himself as a reserved and private sort of person – one conceivably well equipped to cope with the many vicissitudes of his time, as the poet evidently did.
Thomas Hoccleve referred to Chaucer as the ‘firste fyndere of our faire langage’. The word fyndere is carefully chosen, as a modified translation of the first ‘canon’ of classical and medieval rhetoric, the ancestor of present-day English invention. Any assessment of Chaucer’s ‘poetic art’ requires us not just to identify the linguistic choices available to him, it also requires us to ask how those choices relate to his broader poetics. Chaucer’s use of ‘pronouns of power’, for example, do not only characterise particular choices from the linguistic resources of London Middle English, they are also a matter of style, a notion for which classical and medieval literary theoreticians had their own terminology, distinguishing high, middle and low styles, widely recognised as having distinct functions relating to social status and roles. It is conceivably as a metrist, however, that Chaucer’s skill as a ‘finder’ is perhaps most subtly demonstrated, as examples from his works show.
What is ‘heresy’? One answer would be, ‘that which orthodoxy condemns as such’; though we may also wish to consider when conscious dissent invites such a condemnation. The main ‘heresy’ in late medieval England was that usually termed Lollardy, understood to be inspired by the radical theological thought of John Wyclif (1328-1384), which among other things emphasised the overwhelmingly importance of Scripture, and of lay access to Scripture, through vernacular translation. Orthodox repression of heresy began in the late fourteenth century and developed in various ways in the fifteenth. There are small traces of these much wider battles in Chaucer’s oeuvre, but it would be very hard to say quite how he saw them. We might instead see the fluidity of attitude toward aspects of religion in Chaucer as a sign of his times. ‘Dissent’ can encompass more than that which is solidly decried as heresy, and ‘orthodoxy’ can turn out to be more than one mode of religious thought and expression.
Geoffrey Chaucer is widely acknowledged as the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. His texts are studied extensively but, in order to be fully appreciated, they demand a nuanced understanding of the medieval period. This volume provides freshly illuminated access to Chaucer's writing through an unrivalled repertoire of contextual information and perspectives designed to enhance the independence and critical capacities of his modern readers. The featured essays are written not only by distinguished literary scholars but also by leading international historians. Geoffrey Chaucer in Context is an essential reference tool for anyone studying Chaucer and will help readers to identify his different voices and engage with the complexity and colour of his times with new awareness.
Communication is essential during public health emergencies and incidents. This research aimed to understand current uses and challenges for public health agencies using social media during these incidents.
An exploratory, qualitative study was conducted using the structured interview matrix facilitation technique. Focus groups were held with professionals from local public health agencies across Ontario, Canada. Representation from different geographic regions was sought to capture differences in participant experience. An inductive approach to content analysis was used to identify emergent themes.
A diverse group of public health professionals (n = 36) participated. Six themes were identified. Social media is identified as a communication tool used to expand reach of messages, to engage in dialogue with the public, and to inform the scope of potential incidents. Barriers to its use include hesitancy to adapt, lack of trust and credibility, and organizational structure and capacity constraints. Key strategies proposed to promote social media use and address barriers resulted from participant discussions and are presented.
Social media use is highly variable across public health agencies in Ontario. This study identifies and provides strategies to address barriers and practice gaps related to public health agencies’ use of social media during emergencies.